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30 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I just didn't love it quite as much as her previous Crossroads or Crown of Stars books. The heroine was a little too much like Liath in some ways, so not quite a 5 * book for me. However, the world building is excellent and fascinating for anyone who enjoys alt history, ice age geography, or the history of place...
Published on 7 Sep 2010 by Claire de Trafford

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Below my expectations
I really tried to like this book despite putting it down a thousand times. I just couldn't get excited enough about the main character, Cat. Her quest seems intriguing but its execution takes too long. In my opinion, Cat is a paper thin heroin and despite worthy challenges placed in her path she shows very little depth in her feelings or thinking. The plot itself is at...
Published 19 months ago by M. Waller


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read, 7 Sep 2010
By 
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I just didn't love it quite as much as her previous Crossroads or Crown of Stars books. The heroine was a little too much like Liath in some ways, so not quite a 5 * book for me. However, the world building is excellent and fascinating for anyone who enjoys alt history, ice age geography, or the history of place names. I'm from Canterbury which is Cantiacorum here, and it is great fun seeing where other names have been derived from and just which dinosaurs the trolls may have evolved from. The heroines are sparky and carry the story forward, the steam punk elements fit in naturally and Kate's social commentary is thoughtful as always, but not intrusive into the story. Having often wondered if it wouldn't really have been too bad if Napoleon had won at Waterloo, it will be fascinating to see where this story goes. I look forward with interest to the next installment Cold Fire.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful world building, 14 July 2011
Cold Magic is a gripping, well thought-out fantasy novel with wonderful characters. Certain aspects of the alternative world that the author creates (a 19th century where the ice age never completely ended; the dominant culture is an interesting Afro-Celtic mix; and there are trolls and ghouls and intelligent sabre tooth tigers) made me totally gleeful.

My only minor criticism is that I found the main male character fairly uninteresting, but the POV is not his and there are fairly long sections of the book where he's absent, so I didn't mind that too much.

Can't wait for the next one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elliott goes from strength to strength, 7 Oct 2011
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J. Thoas (UK) - See all my reviews
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As an already big fan of Kate Elliott I was delighted by the start to this new series. She has created unusual but believable characters, delivered an unpredictable narrative with enough surprises in it to keep me page-turning, and set both in a world that is both completely different but uncomfortably familiar to our own. What I particularly liked was that this is not a clear cut struggle between good and evil. The "goodies" are not perfect and the "baddies" are not totally corrupt: all shades of grey emerge as the narrative progresses. The reader is left with a desire to find out more. How will the relationships between the characters progress? What cataclysmic events will throw this world into further confusion? Yes, I definitely want to read the next book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Below my expectations, 21 Jan 2013
By 
M. Waller (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I really tried to like this book despite putting it down a thousand times. I just couldn't get excited enough about the main character, Cat. Her quest seems intriguing but its execution takes too long. In my opinion, Cat is a paper thin heroin and despite worthy challenges placed in her path she shows very little depth in her feelings or thinking. The plot itself is at times confusing and slow paced. This book didn't deliver on my expectations since I expected magic and dragons to play a major part. However, I did enjoy the fantasy world built by Kate Elliot in Cold Magic, especially her focus on cultural complexity of the society.

My preference is for stories with a few key characters as it adds the breath to the tale. I am not going to buy the rest of the Spiritwalker series. Instead, I will reach for a new Gail Z. Martin's book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised, 19 Sep 2011
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Amazon Customer (Swansea, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cold Magic: Spiritwalker: Book One (Kindle Edition)
I've read a number of other books by Kate Elliot and found this a little difficult to get into but once I'd read the first couple of chapters I was hooked. Totally different with an excellent plot.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, romantic, and fabulous, 12 Jun 2011
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It took me a few chapters to get completely hooked by this book, but once I did, I LOVED it. It became utterly absorbing, a genuinely addictive read. Even when I wasn't physically reading it, the characters were hanging out in my head, and I was replaying various favorite bits from the sections I'd just read.

It's one of the most unique and well-developed alternate-history fantasy novels I've ever read, with fascinating worldbuilding that's been carefully developed ever since Hannibal won against the Romans (in this version of history). The rhythms of speech and thought are all just a bit different, too, than those I'm used to, with almost the feeling of an epic saga...which perfectly matches the ambiance of the book, which has Celtic bards and trolls and mages all hanging out in this version of 1830s Europe. And I love the way ethnicities have gotten so mingled in this version of history, so that it's completely unremarkable for people of African descent and Greek descent to have intermarried frequently across the generations.

Most of all, though, I really loved the voice of the heroine, Catherine Hassi Barahal, her dynamics within her family, her adventures within the spirit world, and, mmmmm, her romance, which is completely realistic and human and down-to-earth, with a hero who is all too believably flawed, but which ends up with one scene so romantic and perfect, it literally took my breath away as I read. Loved, loved, loved it!

I feel like, objectively, I should give this 4.5 stars because of the fact it took me a couple chapters to get into the novel...but then I loved all the rest of it SO MUCH that it would be absurd not to give this book 5 stars! I cannot wait to read the second book in the trilogy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ok book, 13 April 2014
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This review is from: Cold Magic: Spiritwalker: Book One (Kindle Edition)
An interesting read but some elements were repeated just a little too often, author clearly not crediting her readers with much memory capacity!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book, 26 Mar 2014
This review is from: Cold Magic: Spiritwalker: Book One (Kindle Edition)
I love this story, I find the characters beautifully drawn and sympathetically fleshed out. Other reviews I have seen are somewhat negative about Kate Elliott's love of their clothes, but I like it! Definitely worth reading the other two books in the trilogy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 17 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Cold Magic: Spiritwalker: Book One (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book, thought it was going to be a hard read, but after the difficult start thoroughly enjoyed it, need to buy the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 1 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Cold Magic: Spiritwalker: Book One (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book; the story carries one along at a cracking pace and I found much of the description lyrical and evocative.
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